Back to High School

Drayer. First floor on the end of the hall, to the right. When the days are young and the excitement of everything new is upon us, the air in the room is light. The room houses a new group of friendships and the possibility of more. As time ticks they learn about each other, laughing and wondering and the air in the room smells like cheese dip and comradery. Two have a spark, and the air crackles with optimism. The fluidity of relationships ebbs and flows around the room and the air becomes a familiar feel. This does not last though, when the weekend comes. Saturday night the air is filled with anticipation, but also hesitation and a hint of suspicion. Sunday, tension. Monday, question. Tuesday, confrontation. The air of the room is thick with accusation and emotion. The room has become a silent battleground of subtle warfare and forced smiles. The magic dissipates and all that is left is an empty room. All that is left is a feeling of absence and an empty bag of tortilla chips.


When my roommate and I met–not counting the Facebook stalking that had occurred prior to our arrival on campus–we were both flanked by our parents, who appeared to be at least twice as excited as we were.  We had a very formal introduction, and were relatively silent as we unpacked.  Our first two days were characterized by lots of “so when do you usually…” and “oh okay, yeah…” A lot of nodding, and living logistics.  A lot of wandering to the same places in an attempt to look social.  Our room was pristine, our conversations were about orientation, and our bed times were early.

I don’t know if the change was drastic after upperclassmen arrived and classes started, and I don’t know if they were its only cause, but the other night, we broke into our chocolate stash as we tried (and failed) to efficiently finish the work we’d put off for our classes.  We chatted about going out two nights before, and about finally meeting people who didn’t live within 40 feet of us.  Our shoes were all over the place, our communal fruit bowl was looking a little sad and empty, our laundry baskets seemed pretty plump, and I don’t know about her, but I felt like we had actually started living here.